Mixes - Spring 2011
Couple of recent things.
1) "April's Fool"
This started out as a joke. I made a comment that I thought Art Alexakis'
songwriting in recent years had gotten a bit obvious - and that I could
probably write an Everclear song in an hour. A friend dared me, and I wrote
this in an hour. I was amazed by how well it turned out, to the point where
I'm thinking about tearing out the more "Everclear" elements (mainly the
drumming) and making it officially "mine".
2) "The Air"
Still tinkering with this, but the vibe is right. I kept thinking of buskers
in the Toronto subways.
Rough Mixes - Spring 2010
I'm accepting that I'm never going to actually finish an album. (Hence
why the last one was called Once Every Never
.) But here are
a few more rough mixes. (I think I prefer the 2007 mixes below to any
1) "Borders of Reality"
I took the 2005 version (see below), re-recorded the drums, and added some harmonies.
Feels like an improvement, even if I should probably make the lead vocals more exciting.
2) "Last of Our Kind"
I'm having a lot of trouble getting the mix to sound right. Maybe it's the organ.
3) "Saving the Day"
Something completely different. I wrote this song in 1999 and never recorded it. I
remembered it this year, and figured I should take a shot at it. It started acoustically, but
I realized it just worked better in the style of what I was doing in 1999. It probably would
have fit Once Every Never quite nicely. It was incredibly fun to beat the crap out of
Rough Mixes - Fall 2007
The October Demos were basically the start of a new project. I've got an album
of songs nearly finished, mostly just missing lyrics and a few final touches.
Here are three rough mixes. (I'm planning on making a few more adjustments to each.)
1) "Nothing Elusive"
If this turns into an album, this is track one.
2) "Retaining Wall"
When I first posted the October Demos, I listed one called "Song #1" that I mentioned
wasn't finished. This is it.
3) "Divination Divide"
There were some suggestions that I add more harmonies to this. I'm thinking I might.
October 2005 Demos
I spent some time the second weekend of October recording some random material.
This will kinda give you an idea as to the direction I've been headed lately. Some of
these are more or less "works in progress", so the mixes may or may not be final. Now
that I have a new computer, I've ditched the four-track in favor of using Cubase SE, and
I feel like it's helping the recordings significantly.
1) "Time (Frame of Mind)" (Acoustic)
I still like this song a lot. (The original electric version appeared on
Once Every Never.)
2) "Peaceful Disgrace"
A somewhat down-tempo song. In August of 2001, I completed a solo acoustic demo of this
song. Recently, I played that version again, and heard other musical parts in my head. The rhythm guitar and lead vocals
are from that August 2001 take, but everything else is new.
3) "Drive" (Cars cover)
I performed this solo acoustic at a gathering recently, and it seemed like it went over well.
Once Every Never
Original release: January 28 2003
My first (completed) solo album. The album was full-band electric, not solo acoustic,
and was largely indie-rock type stuff. Slightly lo-fi, granted that it was
recorded at home. (I'm singing and playing everything in the recordings.)
I originally put this out in 2003, but never really felt like it was 100% right.
(Not really a big deal, as there are only about fifteen copies in existence.) At the
end of 2005, I tinkered with remixing one of the tracks, and loved it. I'm in the
slow process of remixing the whole album. For now, here's what's finished:
1) "Turn Away / Fade"
The raging album opener.
5) "Thwarted Needs"
Down-ish, emotionally-charged song. My cousin likes this one.
FaultSide/Lenlow - Beneath a Tidal Wave (vocals)
November 2004. Early in 2004, a masher named Lenlow
put together a really amazing instrumental mashup
called "Sweet Child O Ravi". It combined elements from songs by the Doves, Norah Jones, and
Guns 'n Roses, among others. (Listen carefully, and you can catch repositioned bits of
Slash's intro to "Sweet Child O' Mine", particularly during the louder parts of the song.)
Somebody got the bright idea to rearrange the order of the parts, write lyrics for the song,
and record vocals to make a new song called "Beneath a Tidal Wave". And the vocals ended up
I'm actually really proud of the way it turned out, even if it's completely outside the
realm of what I would normally do on my own.
"Borders of Reality"
September 2005. I wrote this song in September of 1995, and actually played it for the first
time at an open mic night a month later. The next summer, I recorded a scratch demo. I wasn't
particularly thrilled with how it turned out, so I scrapped it. A couple of years ago, the song
popped into my head again. In the summer of 2005, I pulled out that scratch demo, copied the
guitar and drums to my computer, and finished a new version of it. Kind of a b-side, if
anything, but I like it.
The Little Dipper - "The Desert Cowboy"
May 1999. This song was written during my brief tenure with
The Little Dipper
in early 1999. If I remember correctly, our bass player wrote the bulk of it as a really slow introspective song,
and during rehearsal, we developed it into something much more frenetic. We played it as an instrumental, since I hadn't written any lyrics yet, but I really thought
it was best left without vocals. The title came from an off-the-cuff comment made by our drummer immediately
before this performance - that to understand the song, you had to "imagine yourself as a cowboy in the desert".
This was recorded live at the Hawk's Nest in Hartford, CT, on May 1st, 1999.
Stoneykirk - "Ambivalence"
July 1995. Stoneykirk was the first band that I was in that predominantly played songs that I wrote.
I wrote the music to this in the fall of 1993. I've always struggled with lyrics, and tossed the
first version (called "Hallucinating") early in 1995 in favor of a rewrite. This
has one of my favorite basslines on it, played by me on the recording as our bass player was still
Stoneykirk - "Amber"
July 1995. Same session as "Ambivalence". I wrote this in the summer of 1994, and I think it contains
some of the best lyrics I've ever written (one line in particular). However, I could not write those
lyrics now. The narrative point of view is just too embedded with how I was at 19. I'm not even sure I
could play it now, for the same reason. I was worried before we recorded it that it would be too slow
and too sappy, but I think we got it almost exactly right.